How to Grow Your Business by Giving

It is not uncommon to find small businesses at the forefront of local charitable endeavors.  From breast cancer awareness, to feeding the hungry, to assisting returning vets, the opportunities to give back to the community are countless. Supporting charitable efforts in the community not only provide assistance to those in need, they also give right back to your business by getting your name out there.

A recent study revealed that nearly nine of ten small business owners donate time and money, either personally or through their businesses, to local charitable organizations. It can be difficult for an up and coming small business, which is short on time and money, to give back to the community. Here are six ideas that can help a small business have a positive effect on the community, without major cash outlays or time constraints:

  • Use your business talents on the board of a local nonprofit organization. This endeavor can be done after business hours and involves contributing time rather than cash. Helping a worthy cause can also broaden your network of business associates in the community.
  • Set up a contest in your office or among your network of customers and suppliers. Pooling resources allows for a larger charitable donation.
  • Sponsor a charity for a day by asking customers to donate to a local organization. Another strategy is to earmark a certain percentage of sales during certain times for donation and advertise that you will be matching your customers’ donations.
  • A storefront business with a great deal of foot traffic can do something as simple as placing a collection bin next to the cash register. By encouraging employees and customers to help fill the bin, small change can have big results on the local level.
  • Many schools and churches use silent auctions to raise much needed funds. Donating gift certificates or merchandise for charities to sell, not only helps them, but reflects positively on you and your business.
  • Create an employee volunteer day.  The skills and talents of your employees can be shared with the community and can be more effective than writing a check. Whether cleaning a park or helping at a food pantry, employee group activities benefit the community and build morale and camaraderie in your organization.

Do not chose your charitable giving based on its marketing potential.  Support those causes in which you truly believe in and that can have an impact on the community.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

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